I write books. Sometimes.

My Pet Baby

by WillHB
Sun, Jan 29, 2017
Read time: 4 min.

So my son has recently turned three months old (and, coincidentally, this is my third post about parenthood, which I think officially makes this a mommy blog).

At the moment, we’re still in the middle of what I refer to as the “My Pet Baby” phase. I call it that because at first, when you get down to it, having a baby is not that different from having another, unusually stupid pet. Our cats – who are idiots at best – have been known to have the occasional moment of brilliance, such as by prying open the laundry room door and breaking into the trash in search of food, or scaling the shelves to find the catnip. In contrast, it took at least a month before the light came on in Liam’s eyes, and he was able to do anything other than declare his anger with the world at large.

This situation has improved somewhat – he seems to increasingly have some understanding of his environment; specifically, that when I’m around, it’s really fun to scream like the world is on fire, unless I’m willing to appease him via interpretive dance. Said dance must include some combination of bouncing, spinning, and lifting him up over my head; furthermore, if there is any discernible pattern to these movements, the Baby Gods will strike me down for my hubris. I should add that, based on his size and weight, I’d say that Liam has the density of a neutron star.

I probably shouldn’t be surprised by this, since he is clearly all muscle, based on how freakishly strong he is. I know that all parents go on about how awesome their children are, but I’d just like to say that, no, seriously, Liam is clearly some sort of mutant. He could lift his own head from the minute he was born; as soon as we took him home, he kicked strongly enough that we were worried he would leap right out of our arms (and die, since…you know…babies are idiots); and he could roll onto his back at one week, tummy time be damned.

I suppose the possibility exists that the whole dancing/crying routine is really Liam’s attempt to get me in better shape, so that I won’t wind up embarrassing him in front of his future friends (obviously assuming he hasn’t inherited my social skills). Then again, since they specifically sell swings and vibrating seats to soothe babies, I’m guessing that Liam’s love of bouncing is fairly common… which kind of makes me wonder how the phrase “dad bod” refers to anything other than bulging biceps and six pack abs, because dear God, I’m sore all over. And he’s only getting heavier.

Nevertheless, it seems that the “My Pet Baby” phase might be ending soon, to be replaced with that dreadful time when he starts having his own “feelings” and “opinions” about stuff (*shudder*). I say this because last week, Liam laughed for the first time. If you’ve never heard a baby laugh for the first time, I have to tell you, it’s a truly magical experience, because when it happens, you know – you absolutely know – that it will probably be at least five minutes before the little shit starts crying again.

Incidentally, I’ve noticed that when people find out about a baby laughing for the first time, they tend to ask what made him laugh, as if he might have been pondering a particularly witty passage from Joseph Heller’s Catch 22. So to forestall any further questioning on the matter, this is how it happened: after I spent about 20 back-breaking minutes dancing Liam around the living room while he cried the entire time, his mother came out of the shower and changed his diaper, at which point he promptly started smiling and cooing. I then walked into the room and said, “Well, you certainly look happy, you little asshole.” At which point he broke into laughter for several minutes. In conclusion: He may have inherited his mother’s brown eyes, brown hair, and…well, every other visible trait, but he definitely has my sense of humor.

Have friends? Prove it. Share this post.